Atlanta residents turn toward home security firms, firearms to protest property

Private security is not just for the rich or celebrities. Property owners in Atlanta are hiring security firms to tell them where their homes are vulnerable. Some are also asking to be trained on firearms.

The trend is the result of a rough year for local law enforcement, especially Atlanta police.

In late spring going into the summer, citizens saw lawlessness from lawbreakers who took advantage of street protests. That was followed by surges in crimes, especially violent crimes in various neighborhoods.

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A homeowner in Buckhead who did not want her name used is taking classes to learn how to use a handgun. "I know I have to shoot [at the range] more than once, to get comfortable with the idea," the female property owner said. "I just got to do it."

Consultants from Hawque Protection Group also gave her a site survey to point out what burglars might look for, everything from bushes to hide under, to landscape rocks that could be used to break windows, to a ladder that might be left out enabling a criminal to get to an upstairs window.

"We suggest they have a plan, options of what to do while they wait on a 911 response," said Chris Rich, a Hawque executive.

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